Forgive me for stating the obvious here, but…

The controversy yesterday (see stories below) about the botched shipment of gas masks to Kuwait points out a few of the problems in doing business with old-line Czech companies. First, you have to remember that the customer is always fscked. It’s pretty common to go through the excruciating process of getting a contract signed, only to have the party sitting across the table tell you that there’s no way in hell of getting it delivered when you need it. It was pretty galling to hear the Gumarny guy talk about how his deadline wasn’t missed – “hey, we’re still on schedule,” seems to be his approach.

Of course, Gumarny completely missed the point. If there’s a chemical attack before Gumarny’s gas masks get there, there may not be anyone left to sign his check.